Where Do You Go to Return a Christmas Gift From Roman Polanski?

The Huffington Post continues its case for the artistic free expression (read: escape from justice of admitted criminal) of Roman Polanski, now cooling his heels in his luxurious Swiss chalet. Noted human rights activist and tuxedo-shirt-wearing moral relativist Bernard Henri-Levy posts an open letter from the director of Pirates and Frantic. Snippets:

My dear Bernard-Henri Lévy, what you have said in the Swiss press is true -- I have been overwhelmed by the number of messages of support and sympathy I have received in Winterthur prison, and that I continue to receive here, in my chalet in Gstaad, where I am spending the holidays with my wife and my children.

These messages have come from my neighbors, from people all over Switzerland, and from beyond Switzerland -- from across the world. I would like every one of them to know how heartening it is, when one is locked up in a cell, to hear this murmur of human voices and of solidarity in the morning mail. In the darkest moments, each of their notes has been a source of comfort and hope, and they continue to be so in my current situation.

I would like to be able to answer all of them. But it is impossible: there are too many. Do you have any suggestions as to how I could reply? Perhaps in your journal, La Règle du jeu, which has supported me from the very first day? Perhaps you could disseminate these few words I'm sending you? I don't know. I'll leave it up to you.

Happy holidays to you and yours -- and, through you, to all of these unknown friends whom I am discovering day after day, and who have helped me so much.

My warmest regards,

Roman Polanski

More here.

Reason.com on Polanski, including a defense by Feminist Majority Foundation that reads, "It's bad a person was raped. But..." here.

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  • skeet||

    I'd like to see Dexter go after Polanski. Taking out the trash.

  • Ska||

    Maybe Dexter can send Astor to entice him, then Dex comes in from nowhere with the needle ready.

  • Billy!||

    I am sick of the persecution of this fine man. As our Lord would say let him who has not forcibly sodomized a 13 year old cast the first stone.

  • Billy!||

    I should also note that usually reason sympathizes with people treated unethically by the legal system. As I understand Mr. Polanski was, when the plea deal he had made was apparently reneged. Why not this time?

  • ||

    Plea "bargains" are not binding. The judge is not a party to the deal; the defendant and the prosecutor are. The deal typically is that the defendant pleads guilty to X, and the prosecutor dismisses charge Y and recommends a given sentence to the judge.

    The judge typically takes the bargain as proposed, but doesn't have to. He is free to throw the book at the defendant on the charges the defendant pleas to.

    Roman took his chances, and when he rolled snake eyes with the judge, fled the jurisdiction.

  • Billy!||

    OK, perhaps "unethical" was an improper term. But I don't understand how that really changes things. I could well be wrong but it seems to me this magazine would usually frown upon situations where someone pled guilty expecting one sentence but received another.

  • ||

    The point is that we have separation of powers in our criminal justice system. The prosecution and the judge are entirely independent. Generally, a judge will accept a plea bargain, but in the case of a particularly heinous crime, it's not surprising to see a judge reject it if he sees it as ridiculously lenient. As this deal was. For all the bitching and moaning, Polanski was getting off extremely easy for what he had done. Remember that he has admitted to knowingly having sex with a 13-year old, which is a huge crime even without the drugging and raping.

  • Billy!||

    Sure he was getting off easy. So what? The guy made a deal with one government official, then another showed up and said that deal wasn't good enough. That kinda rubs me the wrong way.

  • ||

    It would be worse if the judge had to do what the prosecutor said. Liberty is served a whole lot more by separation of powers than otherwise.

  • ||

    Didn't he receive a 90 day sentence as part of his plea, spend half of it in a psych ward and then when he found out he would have to spend the other half in a real jail he took off?

    He wasn't getting a raw deal from the judge. He was getting the full sentence and he didn't like that. Well, boo fucking hoo. He drugged and orally raped a child while she said no. He drugged and vaginally raped a child while she said no. He drugged and anally raped a child while she said no. Fuck him. I hope he dies a painful death. I really don't give a shit what your Lord says about casting stones either. He escaped a punishment that in and of itself was not approaching justice.

  • D.R.M.||

    it seems to me this magazine would usually frown upon situations where someone pled guilty expecting one sentence but received another.

    And if that had ever actually happened in this case, I'd frown upon the situation and support Mr. Polanski's appeal (well, except the appeal would have happened thirty years ago).

    But Mr. Polanski never was actually given a longer-than-expected sentence or surprise harsh punishment. His claim that he was fleeing a breaking of the deal is utterly unproven—and blatantly self-serving in light of its use as a justification for his criminal flight.

  • High Priest||

  • ||

    Ah, Roman, if you could only hear the voices of solidarity from the people too disgusted with you to send you comforting letters.

  • ed||

    Roman Polanski, now cooling his heels in his luxurious Swiss chalet

    Justice is a Roman Holiday.

  • LarryA||

    I have been overwhelmed by the number of messages of support and sympathy I have received in Winterthur prison, and that I continue to receive here, in my chalet in Gstaad,

    Talk is cheap. It would be interesting to know how many of those “supporters” would bring their young daughters over for a visit.

  • ¢||

    It would be interesting to know how many of those “supporters” would bring their young daughters over for a visit.

    Depressing, you mean. It'd be a lot of them.

  • J_L_B||

    He does enjoy considerable support. Among his many supporters are:

    Woody Allen
    R. Kelly
    The late, great Michael Jackson
    The Council of Resigned and Early-Retired Catholic priests
    NAMBLA
    Various unscheduled cast members of Dateline NBC with Chris Hanson
    John Mark Karr
    Joey Buttafuoco

  • N.A.M.B.L.A.||

    The National Association of Marlon Brando Look-Alikes do *not* support Mr. Polanski - we would give him an offer he *couldn't* refuse.

  • Goldman-Sachs||

    Moral of the story: If you're a dedicated pedophile, be sure to make a handful of good movies before giving rein to your inclinations.

  • a quibble||

    Wouldn't bedding a 13-year-old make him a pederast rather than a pedophile?

    Both ought to be illegal, not to mention the question of rape, but do let's be precise, eh?

  • Dictionary||

    A pederast is a guy who's into young boys. What you're fishing for is ephebophile or hebephile. Since 13 is kind of the official cutoff age between childhood and adolescence, though, one could still contend that the guy is a pedophile.

  • Hebe||

    hebephile. Since 13 is kind of the official cutoff age between childhood and adolescence

    Today I am a fountain-pen.

  • wayne||

    Interesting, in an odd way, about the intellectual abilities (and other characteristics) of the three groups... From wikipedia, of course.

    That is what I like about H&R. I had never heard the term "hebephile", which led me to google it, which turned up this odd bit of research.

    As with sexual preference in general, it is not known what causes someone to be sexually interested in pubescents rather than in adult individuals.
    A team of Canadian sexologists has published a series of research articles comparing biologically relevant characteristics of clinical samples of pedophiles, hebephiles, and teleiophiles (individuals with a sexual preference for adults). In such samples, hebephilic men are midway between pedophilic men and teleiophilic men on average IQ,[7] memory test scores,[7] and rates of school grade failures over and above the IQ differences, with pedophiles scoring the lowest on the first two measures and highest on the third.[8] Hebephiles score midway between pedophiles and teleiophiles in rates of non-right-handedness,[9] and rates of having suffered childhood head injuries.[10][11] and physical height.[12]

  • ||

    Hey, it wasn't "rape-rape"! Leave him alone!

  • Ted||

    You're not named "Whoopi" for nothing.

  • ||

    As usual, the commenters are not unresponsive

  • zoltan||

    Maybe his wife is into it too. Child rape that is. His daughter is currently 16 years old so maybe she has something to say about it?

  • Blake||

    So the judge is dead and the Swiss can't possibly extradite Roman for that reason. Well, c'est la vie! :)

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